Former Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) president, Melvin Wolfberg, OD '51, FAAO, passed away earlier this month at the age of 88. In his announcement to the University community, President Michael H,. Mittelman, a PCO student when Dr. Wolfberg became president, spoke of Dr. Wolfberg's "long and significant association with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry," citing his service on the Board of Trustees from 1959 to 1979 and as Board chairman from 1976 to 1978.
Dr. Wolfberg became PCO president in 1979 and served for ten years. During his tenure, the College developed new academic programs, including an optometric technician program, a Master of Science program, and a master of education program. Dr. Wolfberg supported a growing research program and strengthened relationships between the College, the alumni, and the community. The Center for the Continuing and Post-Graduate Education became the nation's single, most significant provider of education in pharmacology related to optometry and the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathology.
A Silver Star recipient for his actions during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, Dr. Wolfberg was the first PCO graduate to become president of the American Optometric Association (1969), and the sixth PCO alumnus to become president of the American Academy of Optometry. He enjoyed his retirement in Florida, keeping abreast of what was happening in the world of optometry and with his colleagues, many of whom he met with regularly. Dr. Wolfberg is survived by his wife and partner of forty years, Linda Machesic; daughter, Debra Mease; sons, Michael and Daniel, step-daughter Lisa Hubbard and nine grandchildren. Dr. Wolfberg will be buried at Arlington Memorial Cemetery with full military honors.